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How to Thread a Sears Kenmore Sewing Machine

Updated on January 31, 2018

These are basic step by step instructions with photos for threading a vintage sears Kenmore sewing machine. Each step is illustrated with a photo. These instructions are specific to this particular sewing machine, but they could be useful in figuring out how another model works. Most sewing machines have similar mechanisms. I hope this helps you get started on your sewing project.

1. Thread the Bobbin Winder

If there is no thread on the bobbin, you'll need to set up the thread like this to wind thread onto the bobbin.
If there is no thread on the bobbin, you'll need to set up the thread like this to wind thread onto the bobbin.

2. Turn on the Bobbin Winder

You need to push this lever to make the bobbin winder spin.  On some machines the bobbin winder is located on the lower right side of the machine.
You need to push this lever to make the bobbin winder spin. On some machines the bobbin winder is located on the lower right side of the machine.

3. Removing the Bobbin Holder

Slide back the door below the needle.  Grip the bobbin holder by the lever and pull. It should come off easily.
Slide back the door below the needle. Grip the bobbin holder by the lever and pull. It should come off easily.

4. Put the Bobbin into the Bobbin Holder

The loose end of the thread should go over the top.  If it doesn't, the needle won't be able to pick it up.
The loose end of the thread should go over the top. If it doesn't, the needle won't be able to pick it up.

5. Pull Thread Into the Bobbin Holder

Pull the thread through the slot in the side of the bobbin holder like this.  Leave a tail a little longer than your middle finger.
Pull the thread through the slot in the side of the bobbin holder like this. Leave a tail a little longer than your middle finger.

6. Insert the bobin into the machine.

Push in until you hear a click.  Let go of the lever.
Push in until you hear a click. Let go of the lever.

7. The Bobbin Holder in the Sewing Machine

It should look like this when it's properly seated.
It should look like this when it's properly seated.

8. Start Threading the Top of The Machine

Put the thread through here.
Put the thread through here.

9. Then Through Here

Then through here
Then through here

10. Another Guide and the Tension Knob

Through here, then under the tension guide knob.  You may need to adjust the tension guide later so the stitches are equally tight on both sides.
Through here, then under the tension guide knob. You may need to adjust the tension guide later so the stitches are equally tight on both sides.

11. Through the top

Through this. If it isn't at the top, turn the knob to the right until it's at the top.  This keeps the thread in the needle when you start to sew.
Through this. If it isn't at the top, turn the knob to the right until it's at the top. This keeps the thread in the needle when you start to sew.

12. Through Here

Behind this hook guide.
Behind this hook guide.

13. Almost to the needle

Through the guides leading up to the needle.
Through the guides leading up to the needle.

14. Thread the Needle

Lick the thread, and put it through the eye of the needle.
Lick the thread, and put it through the eye of the needle.

15. Pull Thread Back.

Run the end of the thread through the middle of the foot, and pull a tail back.
Run the end of the thread through the middle of the foot, and pull a tail back.

16. Turn the Knob

Turn the manual knob enough to make the needle go down and back up. If the bobbin thread isn't picked up, you may need to repeat.
Turn the manual knob enough to make the needle go down and back up. If the bobbin thread isn't picked up, you may need to repeat.

17. Pull Out the Bobbin Thread

Swipe to separate the bobbin and top threads.
Swipe to separate the bobbin and top threads.

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